By Lee Braver
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Extra resources for A Thing of This World: A History of Continental Anti-Realism
It seems that the metaphysical absolutist, if she is to have any theory of truth at all, will be driven in the direction of the correspondence theory of truth. (Lynch 2001b, 124) Vision makes the same point, calling the conjunction of correspondence truth with metaphysical anti-realism “highly unlikely” (Vision 1988, 18; see also 34). William P. ”9 Moving in the other direction—from correspondence truth to metaphysical realism—is highly plausible as well. If truth is correspondence, then there must be something to correspond to.
Traditionally, both sides to this debate have assumed, even feared, that they are not; if the mind actively contributes to empirical knowledge, must it not inevitably obscure its intended objects. . The shared, underlying assumption is that realism requires some basic level of cognition that is purely passive, in which recognizing some purported individual state of affairs requires no interpretation of it. (K. R. Westphal 2003a, 72) The view that correspondence knowledge of independent reality requires passive cognition has been around for a long time.
Kant, C1 A125) When we examine the history of philosophy from the perspective of different issues, various philosophers take on greater or less weight depending on how directly, originally, and inﬂuentially they address the speciﬁc topic. For our topic of anti-realism, Descartes, for instance, recedes in importance. The basic structure of metaphysical realism prevalent throughout the history of philosophy continues in his thought, now just founded in the certainty of the subject. Subjectivity takes on new signiﬁcance as the ﬁrst bastion of knowledge, but it still functions as an inert stepping-stone; ﬁrst in ordine cognoscendi, it can play no role in ordine essendi.